Aid deal possible if Democrats compromise: Mnuchin
President Donald Trump signed four executive orders over the weekend as a stopgap measure after the White House and Democratic leadership failed to reach a deal for a new round of emergency aid to workers and businesses even as the COVID-19 case count soars past five million and unemployment remains high.
Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met several times last week with Mnuchin and White House chief of staff Mark Meadows to try to bridge the gap between the Democrats $3 trillion proposal and the Republicans' $1 trillion plan.
Trump has repeatedly rejected any plan that offers aid to state and local governments, saying on Twitter on Monday that Pelosi and Schumer "only wanted BAILOUT MONEY for Democrat run states and cities that are failing badly."
While economists note that pandemic funding pressures mean many state and local governments may be forced to lay off teachers, police and firefighters, Mnuchin said they have "plenty of money" left from the last aid package to cover their budget deficits.
Trump's actions will defer collection of payroll taxes -- which only helps people who are employed -- impose a moratorium on evictions, and provide $400 in weekly unemployment benefits, to be partially paid by already strained states, to replace the $600 weekly payments that expired at the end of July.
"Today's meager announcements show President Trump still does not comprehend the seriousness or the urgency of the health and economic crises facing working families," Pelosi said on Twitter.